Cadillac CTS – Extreme Water Spot & Swirl Paint Correction Removal

2006 Cadillac CTS - after full paint correction, swirl mark removal and type 2 hard water spot removal

South Pasadena, Ca – Los Angeles County

This is a fun vehicle summary because the client came begging and pleading to remove the layer, upon layer, of hard crusted water spot marks, staining her passenger side door (and 2/3 of the entire passenger side) from improperly aimed sprinkler heads at her residence. So the first thing I said was, “if we fix this you have to promise to get those sprinklers adjusted so they don’t spray ANY cars anymore.” As her eyes got as big as an anime character, she agreed and blurted out, “so you CAN fix this??” After performing a couple of test spots, it was confirmed everything could be removed and she was ecstatic.

2006 Cadillac CTS - extreme hard water spots before multi phase paint correction -

Besides the horrendous, and seemingly never-ending, layers of hard water spot deposits; her car was FULL of extreme spider web swirl marks. Therefore, the car was sure to undergo a dramatic transformation after a multi phase paint correction because the true jet black nature of the paint would be restored.

2006 Cadillac CTS - C Pillar BEFORE PAINT CORRECTION using Rupes 21 and M100 -
Typical Multi Phase Paint Correction Candidate: Spider web swirled paint may appear shiny. But those are hundreds of scratches layers on scratches. [click to enlarge]


First, the car was pressure washed then doused with a layer of foam, loosening up and encapsulating the topical dirt and grime, then rinsed and re-foamed for a meticulous deep wash. IronX was then used to remove the embedded metal particles within the paint’s porous surface.

Next, the entire vehicle received a clay bar treatment to remove the many years of bonded contaminants from the surface. Suffice it to say, that since the car is kept outside 24/7 the yellow clay turned brown with dirt. The process of claying and removing the topical bonded contaminants immediately restored a great deal of clarity and gloss to the paint’s surface.

The clay was followed by the first phase of paint correction called compounding. This permanently remove the swirl marks and water spot etchings. The results were quite remarkable, however, since this paint was semi soft, and jet black to boot, it left a slight haze, obscuring the true clarity of the freshly leveled paint. Therefore, the second stage of paint correction was finish polishing which restored the paint  to a deep true BLACK color with a mirror like reflection.

2006 Cadillac CTS - Full paint correction and swirl removal with Meguiars M100 -

The CTS was finished with SonicWax – ProtoWax 38, which is Drew Elias’s predecessor to his newly released boutique Carnaubavore paste wax. I was honored to do a Los Angeles, middle of summer, hot climate, durability test. Let me tell you, this man spent hundreds of hours testing, refining, retesting, and re-refining EVERY aspect of this wax from ease of application, beading properties, scent, level of shine, type of shine… etc.etc.

Carnaubavore, and the rest of Drew Elias’s handcrafted botique waxes, can be found at Strongly consider them as the final step of paint correction that will leave your vehicle with that deep rich showroom finish. Wax application and removal was simple and provided no issue once it hazed within 10-12 minutes. As you can see, it left the paint with an almost placid-lake-like-glossiness. This wax was applied in late July, and as of now, Oct 12th is still glossy, and is repelling water like crazy.

When the car to the client was reviewed by the client, she was so happy that she kept looking at her reflection in the passenger side door where multiple later of water spots and heavy swirl marks had been. Overall, the transformation was a resounding success for all involved.

Remember that first panel with the multiple layers of water spot deposits on it ? Here is the dramatic before and AFTER comparison of that panel.


In depth Paint Correction by OCDCarCare Los Angeles revived this Cadillac CTS paint.


Here is wider before shot, displaying spots on the entire passenger side of the vehicle:

2006 Cadillac CTS - Hard water spots before full two step paint correction with Rupes 21, M100, and M205 -

For more interesting and informative articles regarding: auto detailing, paint polishing, microfiber towels, protective paint coatings, show car care, and many other things car care related browse OCDCarCare’s Detailing Article Archive.

Christopher Brown